Gulmarg is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in the Baramula district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is situated in the Pir Panjal Range in the western Himalayas.
According to CNN, Gulmarg is the “heartland of winter sports in India” and was rated as Asia’s seventh best ski destination. The town is accessible from Srinagar by road via Tangmarg. The road climbs uphill in the last 12 kilometres to Gulmarg passing through forests of pine and fir. Winter sports like skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding and heli-skiing take place on the slopes of Mount Apharwat reachable by a Gondola lift.
Built by the French company Pomagalski, the Gulmarg Gondola is one of the highest in the world reaching 3,979 metres. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour between Gulmarg and a shoulder of nearby Apharwat Peak (4,200 metres (13,800 ft)). The first stage transfers from Gulmarg at 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) to Kongdoori at 3,080 metres (10,100 ft). The second stage which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes passengers to a height of 3,950 metres (12,960 ft) on the Apharwat Peak 4,200 metres (13,800 ft). A chair lift system connects Kongdoori with Mary’s shoulder for taking skiers to higher altitude. The high inflow of tourists has had an effect on the fragile eco-system of Gulmarg and activists have demanded tighter regulation to save the environment of the area from over tourism.
The first national bandy competition is due to take place in Gulmarg in February 2019.
Situated at an altitude of 2,650 m, it is the highest green golf course in the world. The historic Gulmarg Golf Club was started in 1911 by the British who used the place as a holiday resort. The origin of Gulmarg as the golfing centre of India goes back to the late 19th century when a 6-hole course was made in 1890-91 by Colonel Neville Chamberlain. The first golf championship was played at Gulmarg in 1922. The Nedou’s Cup was introduced in 1929.